It’s All About The Light.
For the photographs I strive to make, one thing matters above all else. That one thing is the light. The best light is often fleeting, frequently lasting mere minutes. If you aren’t prepared for the best light, if you are unable to recognize its onset, you may very well miss out.
Within minutes the sun would be gone, hidden behind the distant mountains. I actually had several minutes to set up this shot, seemingly an eternity when it comes to the ideal light.
In this shot, I had approximately 3 1/2 minutes from when the pink fire ignited the sky to when the flames flickered out. Had I not been prepared, I may very well have missed this shot.
The ability to not only recognize the best light, but also to recognize when the best light is about to happen, before it happens, are the two skills, more than almost any other, that have made me a better photographer.
The next time you’re out photographing in absolutely beautiful light, think hard and remember what lead up to that light. Soon, with enough time and experience, you’ll never miss another shot because you weren’t ready for the light.